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Messages - Tyrannohotep

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The Fantasy Genre / Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« on: Today at 04:38:58 PM »
Strong Female Character™ because the answer to damsels in distress and male main characters (often farmboy-knights) is just as much of a cliche stock character, often one with absolutely nothing traditionally feminine about her because, you know, that would make her soooo less worthy of being called a hero. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?)
Meh, not all women have to behave according to traditional gender stereotypes (which tend to vary from culture to culture anyway). Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with a female character who comes across as more "feminine" either, but not every woman out there is going to fit into that mold.

I will say I'm not so fond of the "warrior woman trying to prove herself in a sexist patriarchal culture" kind of story arc. If warrior women are commonplace in a fantasy setting, I'd personally prefer it if their existence was simply taken for granted.

Colored version of my Amenirdis portrait:

It's easy for skin to get dry and ashy under the hot Saharan sun, so this Egyptian chick is applying some shea butter to remedy the problem. This substance, made from the nut of the African shea tree, has been used as a skin moisturizer and cosmetic since ancient times; it's rumored that the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra was a big fan of the stuff for example.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 21, 2017, 03:25:43 PM »

Deinotherium is a genus of prehistoric elephant relatives that roamed Africa and Eurasia between the Miocene and early Pleistocene epochs (10-1 million years ago). They grew even larger than modern elephant species, with the biggest weighing up to 15 tons, and their tusks would have curved downward from the end of the lower jaw (they might have come in handy for stripping bark from trees for food).

My swordswoman character (whom I am calling Ankheti for the time being) is hauling a very large khopesh sword. This doodle came to mind after I was looking at character art from the Final Fantasy games, wherein the characters wield these huge-ass swords and other weapons. Although compared to some of those behemoths, what Ankheti is carrying here might be almost practical.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:56:02 PM »

The saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis prowls a forest of giant sequoia trees in prehistoric California. It's not a backdrop you often see in sabertooth art, but since we know that Smilodon populations lived in California, I think it plausible some some might have hunted around the state's famous redwood trees.

This is a portrait of the princess Amenirdis, who was a daughter of King Kashta of Kush. After her brother Pitye conquered Egypt, she served as a God's Wife of Amun (the highest rank of priestess) between 714 and 700 BC. She was actually the first of two Kushite high priestesses to have the name Amenirdis, the second one being her niece Shepenupet's own niece.

This is one of those portraits I started out drawing before I knew who it was going to be in the end. That happens to me quite often, actually; I'll set out to draw a random woman before I settle on a particular theme or identity for her. However, this time I was inspired by the gorgeous South Sudanese model Nyakim Gatwech (queenkim_nyakim on Instagram), even if the resemblance between her and my portrayal of Amenirdis might not appear so obvious now.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:45:40 PM »

This is a character concept I've drawn as part of an assignment for one of my game design classes. We're learning storytelling for games this term, and for the current assignment we're supposed to do concept art for one of the characters from our hypothetical games. This character would be a warrior princess who has to unite the disparate chiefdoms of her jungle homeland against industrial-tech invaders, braving dinosaurs and numerous other perils along the way. Her game would probably be an open-world action RPG roughly similar to Skyrim or Far Cry: Primal.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 14, 2017, 10:14:01 AM »

In ancient Greek legends, the Macrobians were a people living somewhere to the far southern reaches of the world, who stood out due to their remarkable longevity (up to 120 years). They were also considered the tallest and most attractive of all human beings, and they apparently had so much gold in their land that they even made their prisoners' chains from gold. Sources disagree on the Macrobians' exact location, with some identifying it with Somalia or India. However, other writers position the Macrobian homeland further west, in the region south of the Pillars of Heracles (also known as the Straits of Gibraltar). For my portrayal I chose this latter interpretation of the Macrobians as a West African people. The markings on this girl's face are based off an African mask representing a female character.

Two priests from conflicting cultures, one Greek and the other Egyptian, try to convert the other to their own civilization. Will one of them succeed, or will their efforts cancel each other out?

This is my little celebration of the upcoming remastered edition of the first Age of Empires game which will be coming out shortly. I am disappointed that they're releasing it only on Windows Store rather than Steam (my preferred platform), but it probably won't be that big a deal for me. I am still looking forward to playing it, especially since they seem to have updated the gameplay mechanics in addition to the graphics.

In the original Age of Empires (as well as its medieval sequel Age of Empires II: Age of Kings), although the different civilizations had distinctive building styles, their units nonetheless looked all the same regardless of culture (due to time or resource constraints, I presume). I don't know if the remastered addition is going to inject any cultural or racial diversity into the unit graphics, but I would appreciate it if it does.

Writing Discussion & Questions / Re: To plot or not to plot
« on: June 13, 2017, 12:04:14 PM »
I wish I could recommend a strategy to you, but the thing is that all my successes have been with short stories. And with those, I usually follow a mental plan that I don't have to write down. I don't know whether the same strategy would work for a novel since it has more stuff to keep track of, but I doubt it.

The Fantasy Genre / Re: Fantasy - it doesn't have to be medieval
« on: June 13, 2017, 11:59:24 AM »
I'm personally fond of the work of Charles R. Saunders. He specializes in sword & sorcery fantasy with African themes. Works of his include the Imaro  and Dossouye books, and more recently Abengoni.

In addition I recommend the anthologies Griots and Sisters of the Spear if you're interested in short stories of the same African cultural flavor.

Moving on to something rather different, there's Orishadaon by my DeviantArt friend Brandon Bowling, which has Celtic-esque tribal people, dinosaurs, lizardfolk, and plant-people.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 12, 2017, 06:14:17 PM »
And this is the Crown Prince of Egypt whom Hoshea opposes...

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 12, 2017, 03:30:02 PM »

This is concept art for a character named Hoshea of Israel, the protagonist of a short historical fiction I recently wrote. He's much more anti-heroic than what I usually work with, but he has understandable reasons for his agenda. His tribe recently suffered a massacre and mass enslavement at the hands of the Crown Prince of Egypt, and he wants to strike the same terror into the Egyptians' hearts even if he gets himself killed in the process. You could say he's an ancient-era precursor to the modern suicide bomber, even though his religion is early Jewish rather than Islamic.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 09, 2017, 02:46:36 AM »

I think this Tyrannosaurus rex is eyeing you with curiosity now that you've entered his Cretaceous kingdom. You better hope he's uncommonly hospitable for his species (or, if he isn't, you're fast enough to get away in time).

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 08, 2017, 11:00:50 PM »

I'm personally very fond of this character's design (her attire and equipment are influenced by the ancient Egyptian and Kushite cultures), but I have neither a name nor a story for her. She came to mind after I saw the recent Wonder Woman movie, which made me want to draw a warrior woman with a sword. Unfortunately it's very often that I design a character whom I think looks real cool, but then I can't make up my mind of what to do with her.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 07, 2017, 08:38:15 PM »

Ahmanet attacks!

The new Mummy reboot is coming out this Friday (6/9/17). It doesn't look like it's going to be all that good judging from the early critical reviews, but the news made me want to digitally color my earlier "redesign" of its titular antagonist Ahmanet.

Characterization / Re: Early vs Late Story Characterization
« on: June 07, 2017, 04:43:11 PM »
Do you ever find that when you get deeper into a story a character's characterization really seems to solidify, but that it's not as strong at the beginning of the story? How do you handle it, if so? Do you go back to the beginning and work in some of the quirks you've figured out?
Usually what happens is that I have a particular scene in my head playing out when I write, almost like I'm watching a movie in my head. I can see what the characters are doing, and I can imagine what they might be thinking at the moment. In some cases I know their backstory as well. But other than that, deeper characterization is something I tend to discover later.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: June 07, 2017, 04:36:55 PM »

This is another drawing of my African swordswoman, done from a different angle than the last. Now you know what the front of her shield looks like (it's supposed to be giraffe hide)!

This girl's facial markings are based off one of the Pwo (female ancestor) masks made by the Chokwe people of Angola, Congo, and Zambia. I believe in many cases the designs inscribed on Central African masks are supposed to represent scarifications and other markings that women in the region have traditionally worn for beautification.

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